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News & Activities in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East Region
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SABIC

  • SABIC said that operations of its Jubail United Petrochemical Company will not be impacted after a fire there killed 12 people and injured 11 others. AMEinfo. 17-4-16
  • SABIC expects steel demand in the Middle East to improve throughout 2016 and 2017, as well as activity in the construction market, which accounts for 90 percent of steel use in the region. Argaam. 18-4-16
  • SABIC and Saudi Aramco are reportedly studying a plan to build a joint oil refinery in Yanbu on the Red Sea Coast of Saudi Arabia. Gulf News. 7-4-16

  ENERGY

  • Talks in Doha, Qatar, among the world’s 16 biggest oil producers ended without agreement on restraining oil production. Reuters. 18-4-16
  • Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman stated that low oil prices are “not the Kingdom’s battle” in preparation for the OPEC meetings in Doha. Arab News. 17-4-16
  • Saudi Arabia will seek to limit the impact of subsidy cuts on citizens as the country tries to overhaul its economy for the post-oil era. Arab News. 18-4-16
  • Since 2014, Saudi Arabia has increased its oil rig count from 58 to 67 and its gas rig count from 35 to 60 and will complete expansion of its Khurais oil field in 2018. OilPrice.com. 13-4-16
  • In the next five years, Saudi Aramco expects to award products and services contracts worth $124.7bn to local and foreign private sector companies. Ventures Onsite. 14-4-16
  • The growing domestic energy consumption in Saudi Arabia now constitutes 38% of total production of Saudi petroleum and gas products, with continued annual growth of 4 to 5 percent expected to double that level by 2030. Saudi Daily Record. 17-4-16

  CONSTRUCTION

  • The Consumer Protection Association (CPA) has urged the Ministry of Water and Electricity to suspend the higher water tariffs for households. Arab News. 19-4-
  • Korea’s Hanwha Engineering and Construction Corporation won a $400 million deal to build a chemical plant in Jubail that is expected to produce 670,000 tons of calcined petroleum cokes annually. Business Korea.11-4-16
  • The construction market in Saudi Arabia is expected to rise at a compound annual growth rate of 7.05% from 2016 to 2020—an increase of 6.35% from the period of 2011 to 2015. Business Wire. 12-4-16
  • KSA has consumed about 650 billion cubic meters of un-renewable ground water over the past 40 years, enough for the country’s needs for the next 200 years. Arab News. 16-4-16
  • Saudi Arabia has lifted a 2008 ban on exporting cement, with a similar ban on steel also being eased. Gulf Business. 12-4-16

  AUTOMOTIVE

  • Juergen Schmitz, managing director in the Middle East, confirmed that the Saudi market was the best performing in the region for Infiniti last year, with an overall increase in sales of 165%. Arab News. 17-4-16
  • The Ministry of Transport is exploring the possibility of allowing Saudis to use their own vehicles as taxis instead of making it obligatory for them to use registered taxis for that purpose. Saudi Daily Record. 15-4-16
  • Japanese brands made up 54 percent of the cars sold in Saudi Arabia in 2015, with the Kingdom’s 800,000-plus commercial vehicle segment dominated by brands such as Isuzu and Mitsubishi. Gulf Digital News. 18-4-16

  CONSUMER

  • Mobily announced it will offer iPhone SE across KSA. Arab News. 17-4-16
  • According to new legislation to protect consumer health from lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, restaurants serving soft drinks and energy drinks in Saudi Arabia will be fined. Gulf Business. 10-416
  • The embrace of shopping as entertainment in Saudi Arabia, in which the Saudi retail market grew by 13 percent in 2015, is allowing the UAE’s largest retailers to expand rapidly in the Kingdom. The National. 12-4-16
  • Saudi Arabian Airlines has launched a new low-cost carrier called Flyadeal that will begin operations in mid-2017 and will offer a single class of service. Al Bawaba. 18-4-16

TRADE & FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT

  • A Shoura Council panel has asked the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority to develop systems and incentives to attract and increase foreign direct investments. Arab News. 13-4-16
  • Saudi Arabian packaged food firm Goody entered into an exclusive partnership with UAE-based FMCG distribution company GULFCO to distribute packaged food to UAE consumers. AMEinfo. 144-16
  • The 4th US-Saudi Business Opportunities Forum held in Riyadh among government and business leaders demonstrated the commitment between countries and companies to advance the US-Saudi commercial relationship. Arab News. 17-4-16
  • The Saudi Stock Exchange is in the process of hiring an investment bank to advise on its flotation of state-owned assets to help bridge a budget shortfall caused by lower oil prices. Arab News. 18-4-16
  • Somfy MEA, a participant in SABIC’s Home of Innovation growth initiative, celebrated 10 years of its growth in project business at an event held in Abu Dhabi. Arab News. 16-4-16

FOREIGN POLICY

  • Saudi Arabia is considering the creation of a “green card system,” similar to that used in the United States, which could raise $10 billion in revenue per year. Saudi-US Trade Group. 8-4-16
  • Saudi Arabia and Egypt have signed an agreement to establish a 60bn riyal investment fund and other development agreements to strengthen ties between the two countries. Reuters. 9-4-16
  • Egypt’s move to hand over the Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir to their real owner, Saudi Arabia, has been welcomed by a number of citizens as a decision that was long overdue. Arab News. 11-4-16
  • Saudi Arabia asserted that it will sell off hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of U.S. assets held by the Kingdom if the U.S. Congress passes a bill that would allow the Saudi government to be held responsible in American courts for any role in the September 11, 2001 attacks. International New York Times. 15-4-16

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